Don’t hasten unlock: Uddhav amid 3rd Covid wave fears

Don’t hasten unlock: Uddhav Thackeray amid third Covid-19 wave fears

Thackeray also asked the officials to scale up the oxygen production capacity in the state, increase bed strength and set up field hospitals

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. Credit: PTI Photo

With the threat of a third wave of Covid-19 pandemic looming large and the emergence of Delta Plus variant, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has asked the government machinery not to hasten the unlocking process.

“Please study and analyse the ground situation in cities and districts and take a call. Please do not hasten the unlock process. There is no reason to hurry, we have to be careful and cautious,” Thackeray told a meeting on Thursday.

Thackeray also asked the officials to scale up the oxygen production capacity in the state, increase bed strength and set up field hospitals.

Also read — Maharashtra Covid-19 cases cross 10,000-mark after a week

The chief minister’s directives came during a video conference with Collectors of Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts in the Konkan region, Satara, Sangli, and Kolhapur districts in Western Maharashtra, and Hingoli district in Marathwada region, where the positivity rate is high.

Public Health and Family Welfare Minister Rajesh Tope was also present at the meeting besides Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte, Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Dr Pradeep Vyas, Dr Sanjay Oak and Dr Shashank Joshi, the Chairman and member, respectively, of the state’s Covid-19 Task Force.

“The tail of the second wave is yet to pass off. You are not completely out of it. Although different levels of restrictions have been set for the districts, the local administration has to decide on the restrictions based on the actual situation and without any risk,” he said.

Thackeray stressed the need to ensure Covid-19-appropriate behaviour in the new normal.  “Citizens need to be careful and the infection may spread if proper precautions are not taken,” he said.

“It is very important to remove the misconceptions in the minds of the citizens about vaccination and motivate them for vaccination,” Thackeray said.

The chief minister said that emphasis would be laid on large-scale testing and tracing with treatment and vaccination and the necessary facilities would be provided to the districts in this regard.

"The symptoms of this virus are also changing. It is very important to remove the misconceptions in the minds of the citizens about vaccination and motivate them. In some cases, curbs will also have to be tightened," Dr Oak pointed out in the meeting. 

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